Down Syndrome Festival Promotes Acceptance and Inclusion

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma walks to promote inclusion in the community.

Wednesday, September 27th 2023, 7:42 pm

By: News 9


The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma is set up to raise awareness and promote acceptance and inclusion for people with down syndrome.

“The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma serves about a thousand families in the area,” said Sarah Soell, executive director of The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma.

The nonprofit was founded in 2000, with the message that people with down syndrome don’t want to stand out, they typically want to blend in.

“Our mission is to raise awareness and provide resources, as well as promote acceptance and inclusion for people with down syndrome,” said Soell.

And this Saturday they will host the 29th down syndrome festival and five K.

“We just invite the community to come out and celebrate down syndrome celebrate our families, celebrate inclusion and just see what we’re all about,” said Soell.  

The fun kicks off at 8 am with the one-mile fun run five K, “Then we open the festival up at nine o’clock after that we will start our awareness walk at about nine forty-five,” said Soell.

The festival and awareness walk are free, however participants in the 5K and fun must register with forty dollars.

The walk will have some special guests that are coming, including mayor Holt who is going to be giving a welcome at eight o’clock and kicking off the walk. And ace announcer and running enthusiast, Mark Bravo will be in attendance.

“There are a lot of great causes, a lot of great races, and I get to be a part of a lot of them, but on this day, you get to see the people whom you are impacting,” said Bravo.

Families are excited and ready to go, with team t-shirts and names, “I think it’s a day that everybody can come together and celebrate individuals that do amazing things,” said Joli Stone, with Savanah’s Sweets team.

“Seeing all of our family and friends come out and support her in ways that we have seen from the beginning,” said Elizabeth Duren with team Gentry’s Gems.

About four thousand family and friends are expected to attend the fun, complete with games, vendors, and food trucks. The fun starts at 8 am at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. For more information about DSACO or the festival and 5K visit www.dsaco.org  

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